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Kristin Tutino
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Thursday, January 22 at 10 p.m. Rick Steves' Iran

(Rochester, NY) In his latest travelogue, Rick Steves journeys to Iran in the hopes of getting to know this ancient country. He calls it "the most poorly understood yet fascinating land" he's ever visited. Steves takes us on a journey of discovery. His hope? To learn more about this perplexing nation whose government so exasperates America, and to better understand the 70 million people who call Iran home. Shot in Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan, Persepolis and villages in between, Rick Steves' Iran, airing Thursday, January 22 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (cable 1011 and DT 21.1), details the country's rich artistic and cultural heritage.

The travel special shows the glorious monuments of Iran's rich past, as well as Iranian life today--in its giant metropolis, historic capital, workaday towns, and a countryside village. Steves captures Persian culture: from Friday prayer in a mosque to the nonconformist teen fashions at the mall; from anti-American murals to the hospitality of a family dinner; and from the tranquility of rural life to the crazy traffic of modern Tehran.

Rather than a political documentary dealing with the complex issues that confront our governments, Rick Steves' Iran is a travelogue designed to increase our understanding of an ancient nation that has been a leader in its corner of the world for 2,500 years.

Steves says, "After 30 years of world travel, I've learned that the best way to understand an unfamiliar culture is to visit and meet its people. My impressions were striking: the intensity of the streets of Tehran, the crowds of women covered head-to-toe in chadors, and the overwhelming friendliness of the people. I was awed by the domed mosques, saddened by the conformity of the university, energized by the youthfulness of the population, and impressed by the dramatic ancient sites."

Enjoying ice cream with religious leaders, marveling at the popularity of nose jobs for women, and witnessing the sorrow that blankets martyrs' cemeteries, Steves and his crew provide a glimpse of Iran never before shown on American television. Steves believes that, while there are no easy solutions to the problems confronting our two countries, surely getting to know more about this culture is a step in the right direction.

For more information, visit http://www.ricksteves.com/iran.

Pictured: Like schoolgirls anywhere, classmates love a field trip. When a camera comes out, they quickly adjust their scarves to get properly modest, and with their teachers' blessing pose with Rick Steves.
Photo Credit: Back Door Productions


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